Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

wrigley scoreboard featureThe Cubs won again yesterday, so they probably gained some ground in the Cent …

Nope. The Cardinals won big over the Padres 10-3, about which I can’t really complain, because the Padres did take two games in the series. The Cardinals remain 6.5 games ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central.

They’re also still 3.5 games ahead of the Pirates, because the Pirates beat the Giants once again, 5-2 in Pittsburgh. That gave the Pirates a 3-1 series win against the Giants, which, all things considered, is not terrible for the Cubs. After all, they now hold a commanding 6.0 game lead for the final Wild Card spot (7 games in the loss column, too).

Still, given that the Cubs won all four games against the Braves, my ideal outcome would have been a Pirates/Giants split. That would have put the Cubs 5.0 games up on the Giants and just 2.0 games back of the Pirates for the top Wild Card spot (and incrementally closer to being able to dream about winning the division).

The Giants, for their part, remain just 1.5 games back of the Dodgers, who lost for the fifth straight time. If the Dodgers were in the Wild Card race, then, they’d now be 4.5 games behind the Cubs.

An interesting thing out West: the Diamondbacks, who have been hot, are now just 5.0 games back of the Dodgers. That’s kind of crazy, and, while I don’t think they’ll ultimately be able to leapfrog both the Giants and the Dodgers, it’s still worth following. The Diamondbacks are 9.5 games behind the Cubs, though, in case you were worried.

Those hot Diamondbacks now get to host the Cardinals for four games, so, you know, keep it up.

The Pirates, on the other hand, get to go to Miami and probably blast the Marlins.

The Giants are off today, and then they host the Cubs starting Tuesday for a huge three-game set. Anything short of a series win for the Giants could effectively kill their Wild Card hopes.

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